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What is Your Blood Pressure

What’s Your Blood Pressure?

By: Jennifer Griffin APRN, FNP-BC

February is American Heart Month and what better way to kick it off than discuss a leading contributor to heart disease, high blood pressure (Hypertension).  The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the United States Census Bureau approximate that nearly 58-65 million adults in the United States have high blood pressure and estimates that more than one in five adults with high blood pressure go undiagnosed (Kaplan, 2011).  Amongst those who are diagnosed with high blood pressure less than half are considered controlled.  New recommendations have been made from the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) for blood pressure parameters.  Goal for general population aged ≥ 60 years is less than 150/90 and in the general population < 60 years is less than 140/90.  There are special circumstances where your primary care provider will adjust your blood pressure goal, for example if you have kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, etc.  (James et al., 2014)

What does high blood pressure mean to you?

Uncontrolled high blood pressure puts you at risk for…

  • Heart disease (heart attack, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis)
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Damage
  • Vision loss
  • Peripheral artery disease


How can you achieve/maintain a healthy blood pressure?

  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in sodium (ideally less than 2gm/day), saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol.
  • Moderate Intensity Exercise for 30 minutes at a time most days of the week such as a brisk walk or jogging
  • Limit alcohol consumption (no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men)
  • Achieve/maintain a healthy weight (body mass index of 18.5-24.9)
  • Stop smoking


Where can you get your blood pressure checked?

  • FREE every Friday at your local Baptist Express Care



James, P. et al. (2014). 2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: report from the panel members appointed to the eighth joint national committee (JNC 8). JAMA 311(5):507-520

When it Comes to Blood Pressure, Make Control Your Goal. (2014). Retrieved February 12, 2014 from

Kaplan, M. (2007). The prevalence and control of hypertension. Retrieved from